Are Short-Term or Long-Term Study Abroad Programs the Best Fit for You?

study abroad students in front of the eiffel tower

Studying abroad is an incredible decision that can have major benefits for your professional career and personal outlook on life. It means being exposed to new cultures and new ways of looking at things, as well as the excitement of experiencing some of the most beautiful places in the world firsthand.

A common question students – and parents – face is how long to study abroad. Here are some helpful tips to find out the answer.

Short vs. Long-Term Study Abroad Factors To Consider

No two students are alike, so the best decision depends on your distinctive circumstances and personality.


Depending on how a study abroad program will be paid for – scholarships, family loans or money you have saved up – there may be limits to how long you can stay.

Cost of Living

Some European countries have a cost of living that’s the same or higher as the United States. Many Eastern European or Asian countries, on the other hand, can really help you stretch your budget.

Immediate Goals

If you have a clear idea of what kind of career you’re after, you want your study abroad trip to fit into your life, not the other way around. Shorter trips are easier to squeeze into a tight schedule.


Whether or not you already speak the native language of the country you’re visiting doesn’t need to make or break your trip. Some people love the thrill of immersing themselves in a new language.

Family Ties

Everyone gets homesick after an extended period of time, but how strong it is can have an effect on how happy you feel when studying abroad.

Why Some Students Choose To Study Overseas Longer

Long-term study abroad programs do have some advantages:

  • Extensive language integration
  • Increased opportunities to absorb foreign culture
  • More time for in-depth exploration and tourism
  • Internship possibilities working for international companies

When you spend more time in a country, it starts to become an indelible part of you. As time goes on, you have a chance to make deep friendships and become an expert on local culture. This has the potential to impress future employers. After all, if they’re looking for someone to interface with European or Asian clients, your knowledge is invaluable and makes your CV stand out from the rest.

Living abroad long term can have a few downsides as well:

  • Expenses add up
  • Homesickness is usually stronger
  • Travel requirements are more complicated
  • Safety concerns like health insurance have to be addressed
  • Applying for university exchange programs can be difficult

Analyzing the pros and cons to make your study abroad decision allows you to choose the option that’s best for you.

The Advantages of Short-Term Study Abroad Seminars

If you feel that living in a foreign country for a semester or a year isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean your dreams of walking along Paris’ Champs-Elysees or exploring Asian cities are over. The solution is simply to opt for a short-term study abroad trip that fits your schedule.

Studying abroad for a shorter period is a lot like an incredible Italian espresso. It has all the excitement and cultural flair of a longer trip – complete with opportunities to visit huge international companies and picturesque must-see architectural wonders of the ancient world – but concentrated into a delicious short-term package. If the following benefits sound appealing, then International Business Seminars may be the perfect option for you:

  • Life-changing opportunities without changing your entire life: You’re the adventurous type who loves to travel; however, there’s also something refreshing about knowing your life is ready and waiting for you when you get back.
  • Hassle-free travel: Not having to deal with anything when you’re abroad – like hotel reservations and travel arrangements – is a huge plus. You enjoy yourself without worrying about any day-to-day details.
  • Significant overseas business connections: Simply attending a university in a foreign country – though something that looks great on resumes – isn’t likely to connect you directly with pivotal market movers. Short-term seminars, on the other hand, frequently feature these special high-level contacts that provide one-of-a-kind business insights.
  • Uninterrupted studies: Shorter international study programs fit comfortably into university courses and graduate degrees. You typically get college credit for business courses and study-abroad travel, so you don’t fall behind at all.
  • Proximity to the job market: Short-term trips are great because they let you pounce on valuable work opportunities that open up in your preferred job market, from Wall Street to a brand-new tech startup.

Whether you opt for a short-term or long-term study abroad program, you’re in for an amazing experience. Make the most of your trip by preparing ahead and deciding what you want to get out of it. Don’t hesitate to take risks; they pay off immensely when it comes to your career.

International Business Seminars

Travel the world, learn from global business leaders, and earn university credit while gaining a competitive advantage for your career.

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